# Is Lithium-ion the Ideal Battery?
For many years, nickel-cadmium had been the only suitable battery for portable equipment from wireless communications to mobile computing. Nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion emerged In the early 1990s, fighting nose-to-nose to gain customer’s acceptance.
Today: Lithium-Ion is the fastest growing and most promising Battery Chemistry
- High energy density – potential for yet higher capacities.
- Does not need prolonged priming when new. One regular charge is all that’s needed.
- Relatively low self-discharge – self-discharge is less than half that of nickel-based batteries.
- Low Maintenance – no periodic discharge is needed; there is no memory.
- Specialty cells can provide very high current to applications such as power tools.
- Requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and current within safe limits.
- Subject to aging, even if not in use – storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
- Transportation restrictions – shipment of larger quantities may be subject to regulatory control. This restriction does not apply to personal carry-on batteries.
- Expensive to manufacture – about 40 percent higher in cost than nickel-cadmium.
- Not fully mature – metals and chemicals are changing on a continuing basis.